Sarah Ahiers has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and lives in MN with a house full of siblings, dogs and other critters. She is the author of ASSASSIN’S HEART and the forthcoming THIEF’S CUNNING, and when she’s not writing she fills her time with good games, good food, good friends, and good family.
I have an MFA in kidlit! So I have a ton of experience not only working with other kidlit writers, I also teach workshops to local writers and teens as well as query classes to local writers and alumni from my MFA program.
I was a Mentee in Pitch Wars waaay back when, but had to drop out before things really got started due to offers of rep. But I’ve also done a few rounds in most of the big blog contests.
I’m a laid back person, and I try really hard to not get stressed about stuff. I’m hoping to find a mentee who is the same, but who’s willing to work hard to grow as a writer so they can achieve their goals (whatever they may be.) I really like to try and help the writing community that’s out there, because I know how hard it can be, sometimes, to find people who can help you with your writing, or to even get feedback on your work.
I love all kidlit. Contemporary, fantasy, other genres, MG or YA. I’ve worked with it all! My wheelhouse is definitely fantasy (2nd world (not set on earth)) because I write it so much, but do not underestimate my love for contemporary fiction or other genres like horror, mystery/thriller and romance. I’m not a big fan of dystopian, mostly because I feel it relies too much on established tropes, but if you have something vastly different, you might grab my attention.
Things I’m not overly interested in: Fairytale retellings, Mermaids (unless they’re monstrous,) Twins (unless you are a twin or have had a Twin beta reader,) Funny or “fun” fantasy.
Firm, yet supportive and helpful. I will critique pages and ask the big (sometimes hard) questions I feel may lead my mentee to developing the story further. I’m also honest, and will tell you when I start skimming, or stop altogether. But am also not afraid to tell you when I spent all day reading because I thought it was so good.
Someone who is not afraid to work hard, who is not afraid to make big, sweeping changes just to see if it works, who doesn’t do a line edit and think a revision has been completed.
Also, preferably someone who is laid back and isn’t easily discouraged. I’ll be super supportive, but if you need a lot of handholding all the time in that aspect, I may not be the best mentor option.
Someone who understands the current market, how publishing works, and, most importantly, someone who can be patient with me. I’m not a person who flakes out or misses deadlines, but I have a release coming up, a sister’s wedding, am moving, and have a day job, so while I will definitely make my mentee a priority, sometimes real life may get in the way.
Anime (Yuri on Ice! Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, Silver Spoon), video games (can’t stop playing Breath of the Wild,) so much TV(Teen Wolf!, Top Chef, GoT, The Magicians, Parks & Rec (and my guilty pleasure is The Challenge on MTV)) and, of course, ALL THE BOOKS.
My MFA thesis was on monsters and the monstrous character in kidlit, so if any of that sounds like what you’ve got, maybe consider me!